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Dealing with the wind

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I was out trying to get some portraits of my son this morning and the wind was unbearable. Everything was flying around including my wife when she was trying to hold the reflector. how do you guys handle the wind with things like reflectors, hair, lights, etc?

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Postpone the shoot or find a location protected from the wind?

Yep. Unless it's something with a fixed schedule like a reunion or a wedding, all my outdoor portrait shoots are weather-dependent going in, so both I and the clients know we need to get in touch with each other if the weather is bad.

For those fixed dates that can't be postponed, it's a matter of going indoors or finding shelter. Of course, it's easier to find shelter from the wind up here in the forest than it is on the prairie. gringrin

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I rarely have the option to change shooting times or places. Once they are scheduled it is almost impossible to change that. 350 kids are hard enough to organize and get on location even with a month lead time. I shot two weeks ago with a light rain falling and used lights!

I spent all this morning on a senior shoot in those hellish winds! Again this was not going to get re-scheduled. Though I was a bit nervous about getting things in with torrential downpours yesterday morning and intermittent rain in the afternoon. Camera settings can be a nightmare as well. I was shooting with lights this morning and the sun would peak out for one minute and render the lights worthless (sync speed). I had someone standing next to the light with a reflector and used that until the sun disappeared again and then changed camera settings and back to lights...for about 1 minute until the sun came out. Repeat 30 times in two hours! I make due as much as possible in spite of the conditions. I really need to pick up a four stop ND filter for days like this!

A few tips that work for me. I always position the subject so that the wind is blowing into the face (HAIR, HAIR, HAIR). If they are in the sun I use a scrim or reposition to use a solid object to shade them and then use supplemental lighting. This is really the biggest one! You will never get a shot if you don't have the wind blowing the hair back!

I try and use natural cover for dispersing light and wind as much as possible and have set up a large portable shelter to block both sun, wind and precip.

Lots of weight available for light stands. Don't even think of not weighting a light down. Can you say liability! I also try and use VAL's as much as possible when its windy. Today I had 4 of them! Using scrims, umbrella's, and reflector's is impossible if you are using boom arms and stands. Handheld reflector's and scrim's are really the only options here. Anything over about 10 miles an hour and you might be making a trip to the store to replace an umbrella and the light attached to it! I wrecked two umbrella's this spring until I switched to beauty dishes. While large at 22" I can weight them and hold them in place.

Every shoot outdoors is an adventure and learning experience for me. I almost always learn a new trick or find out what doesn't work for the next time out. Hope that helps some Mike.

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Thanks for the great information. There's some tricks I'll think about the next time. I can always do things a different time now, but in the future there might be times when I have to get it in so I want to able to be prepared to get the shot.

Steve, it might be windy here but I would not want to be where XT is when it's windy. Yowza! smile

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I used to carry a can of hairspray along and my partner used to carry face powder too for those glossy noses.

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